The news came to you, propelled by the wailing wind of Calistril's final storm. A messenger, bearing dark news—a missive regarding an old friend. You obliged the written request, (How could you not?) departing right away.
As was only right to do.
The sodden trail was lonely, but blessedly uneventful. The goddess Desna, protector of travelers, kept your way clear... or perhaps and more appropriately, it was Pharasma herself, shepherd of the dead, who kept you safe. Any musings on the divine were but distractions; grief and memory were your companions on your journey, and the discussion you shared with those silent comrades was of little comfort. The words written to you roiled over and over in your mind as the miles fell away behind you.
You do not know me, but I have heard much of you from my father. My name is Kendra Lorrimor, and I send you grim news. Petros Lorrimor, my father, your friend, has died. He will be buried on the second day of Pharast, and I know he would be truly honored and grateful if you helped lay him to rest.
The Restlands outside Ravengro will hold his mortal remains, and I pray his soul will find peace among Pharasma's flock.
And finally, when the month of Calistril's snow faded into a rainy Pharast, you arrived in Ravengro, the squat brown village that Professor Petros Lorrimor apparently called home. The persistent rain seemed appropriate as you approached the Restlands, where your friend's body would forever rest.
A haggard-looking old horse, lashed to the cart that bore your friend's remains to this place, whinnied softly at your approach. Hooded figures stood waiting by the entrance conversations muted by a shared grief.
Taanyth was rarely fond of elven dreams: four hours of crisp memories of past, replaying ever so vividly as if it were magically recorded. Contrary to popular belief, Taanyth's memories weren't all that great.
But the ones today were different. They spoke of a time long ago when Taanyth was not afraid to have friends. Happy times.
Petros was around the age of 25. He and Taanyth were at a Varisian bar, drinking like dwarves possessed by the aspect of Cayden Cailean. They were talking of intelligent things such as the web of social connections and its effect on existentialism. Of course, this banter of the brain did not stop them from peering at the harlots, muses of the imagination, from time to time.
A quick nudge caused by a rock hitting the wheel of the carriage was enough to wake Taanyth up. Though this did not bother him, for like other elves, he was close to being what most would consider an insomniac.
He looked around, and to his pleasure, he was already at Canterwall. Just up ahead, close to the horizon, was Ravengro, and to the east was Lake Lias in all its splendor. Taanyth could see some fishermen off-shore, still trying to nab the last batch of fish for the day. As the carriage entered town, it was noticeable that people were more glum than usual, save for the children who were too young to become attached to Professor Petros Lorrimor. A lot has changed over the past few years, but Taanyth still recognized it as deal old Ravengro.
The carriage stopped right beside the funeral, and Taanyth slowly but surely stepped down. He looked around with nostalgia in his eyes and took a deep breath.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
The rain drips off of Peredur's hat as he walks through the drizzle, heavy pack on his shoulders. 'Tis not the way I wished to come to Ravengro...th' heavens themselves mourn with me. Glad I am, in a way, that th' carriage axle broke 'fore we reached Canterwall. Not right that I should come to this place dry.
He passes through the town, nodding to the occasional villager and looking around. There must be an inn hereabouts, but I'm not seeing it; I'll have to come back to find it. Hoist a glass or three to Petros' memory. There's no time to read any of the notices on the posting poles before the bridge; his steps echo on the sodden planks as he crosses. Not much farther, now. North at th' fork, or so th' directions have it.
The sound of carriage wheels on the bridge behind him gives him enough warning to move to the side of the road in time to let the vehicle go by without splashing him overmuch. It turns north, the way he's going. Coincidence? Not likely. 'Twill likely be someone else going where I am.
Finally, his long trek is over as he sees the Restlands draw into view ahead. He sees an elf step slowly but surely down from the carriage and look around, and hurries to the cart at the entrance.
He tips his hat to the group and the elf and bows slightly. "Greetings and condolences. Peredur ap Erevel am I, a friend of Professor Lorrimor from Andoran."
The moment replayed over and over in Alzano's mind during the long journey to Ravengro. The messenger standing in the freezing night rain, the glow of the city streetlights illuminating his foreboding presence. Alzano thought the Sczarni had found him, at first, nearly slitting the man's throat right there. But then he saw the letter... Sczarni don't send letters.
Three hundred miles later, he's still not sure he can accept the letter's words. How many times did he read them over? ... Lorrimor ... died ... Lorrimor ... died ... Lorrimor ... Until the boat reached the docks of Ravengro and he had no choice but to put the letter away and continue on to pay his respects.
Pulling up his hood in a feeble attempt to fend off the rain, Alzano follows the crowd to the Restlands. As he approaches the entrance he remains at the edge of the group. Despite not having worked for the Sczarni in years, he retains his habit of attempting to blend in but leaving an out if needed.
This trip has been quite an eye-opener Iesha muses. People react so differently to me in public than they do at the temple. I guess I should have expected it, but it's still unnerving. And half the time, I think it's just because I'm half-elven rather than what the elven half is.
The carriage draws to a halt as they aproach the gate to what must be the local boneyard. She glances out to see a small gathering around a coffin, under a sign reading The Restlands. This must be the place.
She reaches out to open the door. "This is my stop, I think." she calls to the driver. "Thank you for the pleasant trip. And such a roomy coach, too." The pleasant smile she gives her fellow travelers huddled as far from her as they could get is only -very- slightly a smirk.
"May the Eternal Rose bless your endevors and your lives."
She turns to walk over to the woman who must be Kendra. "My condolences, Lady Lorrimor. Do you remember me? Iesha?
She drops the hood from her hair and reaches out to clasp Kendra's hands in hers.
Kendra drops her hood as well before she takes Iesha's hands, and you see her eyes--pools of exhaustion and grief.
"Iesha... It has been so long. The memories have faded, but my father spoke of you so often and with such pride. Thank you so much for coming."
Here, she disposes of formality and embraces Iesha rather suddenly, but briefly. When Kendra releases her, she moves to the other new arrivals--first the tall elf.
She extends her hand.
"I am Kendra Lorrimor. Thank you for coming on such short notice... It is Taanyth, yes?"
Aleksandr lifted his meagre backpack off of his shoulders and placed it onto the Deacon's table while he waited for evening ministrations to finish. It was a blessing to be off of the road and the thought of a warm bed pleased him. For travelling sin eaters, the smallest comforts were a blessing.
"Aleksandr," a voice behind him caused him to turn and behold an old friend, Marcus, "What has it been? Almost two years since I last saw you?"
"Pharasma's work keeps me busy, old friend," the two clasped hands and exchanged a brief hug.
"I dare say it does. Not ready for a position within the Church?" Marcus had been trying for almost a decade to get Aleksandr to move from the inquisitorial arm of the Church.
"Not while I can still walk, brother," he replied with a smile. Marcus snapped his fingers as though he had just recalled something.
"A letter arrived for you two days ago," Marcus opened his desk and retrieved a small envelope, "The poor lad who delivered it was soaked but he kept the letter dry so I gave him a small tip."
"No doubt someone wants their sins taken from them before they pass on," Aleksandr deftly ripped open the envelope but as he read, his face fell.
"I'm afraid I must depart immediately," he said as he finished the letter, "An old friend has passed on to the Boneyard and I must attend his funeral in Ravengro."
"Such a short visit," Marcus said looking a little crest-fallen, "I will send for a carriage to take you there as it is not an inconsiderable distance."
And so it was that Aleksandr found himself on a carriage bound for Ravengro.
Aleksandr stepped off of the carriage, a little sore from the travelling.
"Pharasma's blessings to you," he said to the driver, already starting towards the small group of people that had already gathered. He recognised Kendra, a little older than he had last seen her and she looked exhausted.
"Kendra, I came as soon as I got your letter," he held out his hands to comfort her, "Your father will be greatly missed."
Taanyth faces Kendra with shock on his eyes, trying to hide behind aloofness. He reaches out his hand as well and they shake. It is awkward and jittery, much to Taanyth's fault.
"Yes. Taanyth. That would... be me." He stares, keeps a firm grasp of Kendra's hand, and says, "Oh... I'm sorry. It's just that you have your father's nose. He had this hilarious parlor trick back at the day with it."
Taanyth quickly lets go and places his hands in his pockets. He hides his laughter behind the familiar elven mercuriality of emotions, for a noise would break the grim silence of the funeral, which all of the guests seem accustomed to. He wasn't with other elves; they would not understand. After the bungling silence, he looks at Kendra with sharp intent in his eyes.
"If you'd excuse me, I'd like to see your father."
She looks just like him...
Iesha is standing by the wagon, her head bowed in prayer to Shelyn and Pharasma for the comfort of Profesor Lorrimor's soul.
Hearing the elf -Taanyth, Kendra called him- speak up, she turns to Kendra. "Yes, Kendra, as would I. What happened? It seems so strange to find him gone. The Professor didn't seem old or even to be slowing down when I last saw him. Was it an illness? Or don't you want to discuss it here?"
I wonder how a full elf is going to react to me. Well no time like the present. At least he's unlikely to attack at a funeral she thinks, amusedly.
"Greetings...Taanyth, Kendra said? I am Iesha Shadowstar-Petrosca, Cleric of the Eternal Rose, student and friend of Professor Lorrimor. I am sorry our meeting had to come about through such a loss, to his friends, his family and to the world at large."
Kendra smiles slightly and nods at Taanyth, then turns to Iesha.
"We can discuss that after he is laid to rest, I think."
Here she turns, and sees Aleksandr approaching. She hesitates a moment, then approaches him, taking his hands.
"Thank you for coming, Aleks, thank you. It means the world to me, and I'm certain it does to my father as well."
She releases his hands and steps away, pausing when she sees an extra figure among the half-dozen gathered villagers. She stares a moment, seemingly thinking the strange addition over in her head, before she speaks to the assembled.
"Father Grimburrow awaits us... Who will bear my father to his final rest?
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Pausing to wipe the rain from his eyes, Peredur looks around at his chance companions. An interesting group...but Petros would have it no other way. "'Twould be an honor, ma'am. Might I leave my pack on the cart here?"
As he takes his place at the coffin, the tall half-elf pulls back his cloak to reveal a spiral pendant, symbol of Pharasma.
Iesha looks around and realizes no one is standing by the coffin. Odd, I wonder why there are no pallbearers already in place.
"I would be honored, Kendra, if you permit."
Removing her sari-cloak to display her clerical vestments and armor, she sets it on the cart as she takes a place opposite from the unnamed half-elf.
"Should you need anything, Kendra, just ask," Aleksandr says softly. He steps back as she addresses the group and notes the lack of pall-bearers. Surely Petros deserved more than this at his burial.
"It would be an honour, Kendra," Aleksandr replies, setting his bag on the cart alongside the elf's. Turning to the other pall-bearers, he gives a curt bow.
"Aleksandr Markov, servant of Pharasma's and friend to the late Professor," he says, taking his position at the cart. For a moment, he rests his hand on the coffin. No need to let them know how I serve Pharasma. We sin eaters are ill-enough thought of at the best of times.
"One last journey, old friend," he whispers into the air.
"Nevertheless we met." Taanyth replies to Iesha, "I am Taanyth Tuilinn, planted in Kyonin, bloomed in Cheliax. I was a good friend of your mentor since he was around your age. Until he passed away, we had been exchanging letters, which explains why we've never met."
He notices Kendra's call and walks away from Iesha, as if they weren't talking. Taanyth had no qualms against the half-elf. In fact, he was quite curious about the species. However, it was never of Taanyth to understand ethics. To him, those that live long would meet him again anyways, and those that don't would just wane away like leaves during winter. So the conversation would possibly continue in the future, and if it didn't, it was not worth having.
He steps nonchalantly close to Kendra, and whispers with his hands tucked behind his back, "I would like to help bear your father, if you would be so kind as to let me."
Taanyth walks close to the coffin, as close to dear old Petros' face as he can. The elf looks at his old friend's face with a new sense of blankness to his face as if you could pluck the sadness out of him with a pair of tweezers. His shoulders became heavy and the irises of his eyes grew bigger than they already were.
Petros, you old fool. May Pharasma and the ancient elves be so kind to me as to reincarnate you.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
"Peredur ap Erevel, of Andoran. Sometime pupil of th' late Professor's." He looks around. "'Tis good we're come; for one so loved as Petros, I see few here who'd serve him as we are."
"I'm pleased to meet you, Peredur. I'm only sorry it had to be for such a reason."[b]
She looks about at the small crowd.
[b]"And I agree, it's strange that there are so few people here. Is there even a representative from the university here? I know he'd retired from teaching, but still..."
Kendra smiles, and the relief in her eyes is evident.
"Thank you all."
The coffin is heavy, well carved and topped with a bouquet of black roses. The symbol of Pharasma is carved into the lid. The four of you, however, carry it with relative ease.
Aleksander and Iesha carry the front, and Taanyth and Peredur the rear. Kendra takes the lead into the Restlands, and behind you, the half-dozen villagers fall in to line.
The grim procession makes its way past a row of ornate above-ground crypts, and heads left down a well-worn path, marked as 'The Dreamwake'. The sky above is iron grey and the wind chills the drizzle of rain.
The Restlands themselves are an expansive collection of granite markers and crypts. The ground is brown and muddy, the grass smothered by a long and merciless winter. At the center on a small hill is a cluster of the most ornate of the crypts, and a few others dot the walled cemetary.
Ahead of Kendra, twelve locals are spread across the path. They all carry farming implements and their faces speak of fear, confusion. In the middle of the path, the tallest and clearly eldest of the group stands. He is wiry and strong, and bears himself with the air of a seasoned warrior. The bags under his eyes, however, undercut that strength with an obvious exhaustion.
"That's far enough," he intones, as Kendra halts the procession. "We been talkin, and we've decided we don't want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver, and bury him there if you want, but he ain't going in the ground here!
"Who are you? And why do you choose to interrupt such a solemn moment?"
Iesha looks over at her fellow pallbearers.
These locals must be the reason for the lack of pallbeareres, but what could they possibly have against the professor?
diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
"Surely you would not appreciate such comments about your own friends and family? If there were *any* issues that might affect Professor Lorrimor's passing and burial, it is up to Pharasma and her clerics to make that call"
She looks over at Peredur, waiting for his response as well.
Gah... ninja'ed... let's see if I can rewrite the post.
Alzano watches the newcomers with a mixture of emotions... interest, suspicion, apprehension. Especially for the half-elves. He'd never met one, but years of disparaging remarks about them from his brother left their mark.
At Kendra's request for pallbearers, Alzano's stomach knots up. He feels it's something he must do, but at the same time is terrified of revealing himself to any Sczarni who might be present. Looking for him. Bloody hells... can't let the half-breeds have all the honor.
But before he can offer his assistance, four of the other outsiders have already volunteered. :P
Alzano silently follows the procession into the Restlands until they meet the group of locals blocking the path. Anger builds inside him as he hears the elderly man's words until he pushes through the crowd with a snarl.
Intimidate 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
"Listen, old man! I don't care what you've been 'talkin' or what you decided, but the Professor's gonna be buried here in the Restlands. The man was greater than you'll ever be and deserves no less. I suggest you all move out of the way." Alzano's hand moves to the hilt of his rapier as he speaks.
Geeze you people post fast! :P
The farming implements, held at the side by the rabble are raised defensively, in response to Alzano's outburst and threatening mien.
"You don't get it, any of you. We won't have a necromancer buried in the same earth as our kin. I suggest you move on while you can. Folks is pretty upset about this right now."
The word necromancer hangs in the air--an irrevocable slur.
Kendra is fuming, practically shaking with rage.
Will slow it down now to account for everyone who may not have a super boring job with nothing to do right now hehe
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8
"You do not refer to my friend as such; he was a biologist. You have fueled his daughter and friends alike with anger. My patience is great, but your words wear it thin. Stand aside or I shall be forced to take action on you and any else that stand in our way."
Sadly this statement was said jittery and out of character. Laughable at most.
Prepared Spells= Shocking Grasp, Obscuring Mist, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation
"Necromancer? Professor Lorrimor a necromancer? Are you in...
Iesha visibly struggles with her emotions as she swallows the last word of that rant.
"He was the kindest man I've ever met and the most dedicated to eradicating the undead menace that mars our land. How could you possibly believe such a -slur- about him?"
Current 1st levels prepared: Shield (d); Bless, Sanctuary
"Necromancer?" Alzano spits on the ground just in front of the man's feet. "Torag's balls he was! Like the lady here says," he gestures to Iesha, "that's a bloody lie and you know it."
At least I hope it is... Alzano scours his mind, seeing if he can recall anything he'd heard of the Professor and necromancy. All the same, he has a hunch that there's more behind this than meets the eye.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Stuck in training all morning, and about to go off to another meeting. Beats the alternative, though.
Trying to look unthreatening (a pose not helped by the longsword at his side and the shield on his back), Peredur asks quietly, "And your proof is...what? Hark to me: Th' Professor was a learned and godly man, who followed Pharasma th' whole of his life. Think you so little of your priest here, that he could be fooled? Think you so little of so many of Pharasma's clergy across the land, people who knew him?"
He looks away from the obvious ringleader to the other people in the mob, the ones who look like they're just going along. See below for check. "And think you that your friend, here, is wiser than they? Father Grimburrow approves of this. Who are you to say nay to him?"
Knowledge (Local) check to spot followers in the mob: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Aid Another diplomacy check to Iesha: 1d20 ⇒ 12
The men grumble to themselves. The bluster seems to leave many of them. Shovels and picks lower back to the ground. A few of them shrug and walk away, righetous anger deflated.
"Gibs, they make some sense y'know.
Gibs turns to face his crumbling troops.
"Spineless, muck-raking, milk-drinking cowards." he grumbles at them.
The remainder give up, and walk away. Grumbling about the cold, Pharasma's wrath, and aching bones.
Gibs whirls again, back to Kendra, and Alzano. With an excrutiating soundtrack of plhegm, he hocks a shockingly large wad of something horrid at Alzano's feet. He then hustles off with the men he had rallied.
Kendra turns to you all, gratitude rushing to replace her faded fury.
"Thank you... that was... frightening. People have been on edge as of late here and that could have gone much worse. Come... We mustn't keep the priest waiting."
She resumes her march up the Dreamwake, bearing left onto a past called, appropriately enough, the Eversleep. Nearby, two figures stand next to a pile of earth, surrounded by candles. When the procession reaches the grave, you see that there are in, fact, three figures. Two tall humans, acolytes of Pharasma, and a gnome--small, wrinkled, and bald as a stone, with long white hair sprouting from above his eyes and in his ears. He stands at the head of the open grave waiting, a holy smybol around his neck and a tome in his hands.
The casket is placed on stout ropes and lowered into the ground. Your dear friend has found his final rest.
The priest then intones the blessing, his voice strong, unwavering.
"Pharasma's judgement awaits us all. We send to her this man, Petros Lorrimor. Father, teacher, friend, and servant of you, O Lady of Graves. Do not find him wanting, for he was, in life, devoted to you and the protection of this, and all lands from those who would prey upon the innocent and terrorize the weak. Send him to his eternal reward as you see fit, and bless us with the knowledge that he has found peace in your judgement."
Here he holds out a lit candle.
"Who wills peak for this man?"
"I will speak for a man who would speak for an orphan of a -problematic- bloodline and background, who would work with her to prepare her for a world that will not be as open-minded. I have chosen to add a portion of his name to mine to honor that kindness. Let your judgment reflect that same kindness, Lady of Graves"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Alzano glowers at the backs of the mob as they walk away. That Gibs was right about one thing... filthy cowards, the lot of 'em. As he calms down, he notices the wide eyes of the townsfolk staring at him. Aw hells, what did I say?
Frowning in consternation, he approaches the professor's daughter. "Uh... Kendra, right? Hey, sorry about that... got kinda bent outta shape there. I just... your father was a great man. You and him don't deserve that. I'm Alzano, by the way, but you probably knew that..."
He remains silent the rest of the way to the grave, only half listening to the priest and half-elf that speaks.
Was about to cast prestidigitation to Gibs' clothes. Ninja'd.
Taanyth was not amused by the team of thugs. They had dishonored Petros' name to great extent. He wished he could do something to get back at them, even if it was tiny. He had a century and a half's worth of knowledge when it come to vengeance and pranks. He had seen it all. He felt weak because he did not act, but then again, he did not want his name stained at his old friend's home town.
When asked, Taanyth declined to speak. He respected Lorrimor but that was only for the elf to know. The dear old Professor knew of Taanyth's judgement anyways. It was more than transparent during their meetings and in their correspondence.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
In hurried reply to Kendra, "'Twas my pleasure to help, ma'am, though it were Shelyn's priestess got them stopping and thinking--my part was but to give th' most of them a way to back out an' still keep their pride."
After Iesha finishes her eulogy, Peredur steps forward. "He were a fine teacher an'--and a good friend. May Pharasma judge him kindly." He steps back to his place. And may we all forgive the dice module for that horrendous roll.
Diplomacy (or Perform-Oratory; they're both the same) check: 1d20 ⇒ 1
Aleksandr's cloak falls away, revealing the silver symbol of Pharasma hanging around his neck. With a meaningful glare at the gathered mob, he fixes the ringleader with a stare.
"I will remember you, Gibs," Aleksandr spits, "Pray to Pharasma until the end of your days that you never need the services of the sin eaters." Aleksandr lets the inferred threat hang in the air.
Once the mob disperse, Aleksandr watches on in grim satisfaction as Father Grimburrow performs the final rites for the Professor.
"I too shall speak for an old and dear friend," Aleksandr speaks as Iesha finishes her speech.
"O Lady of Graves, hear now the words of one of your most devout servants. I speak for Professor Petros Lorrimor. He is a man most staunchly opposed to our Greatest Enemy and has served his life without complaint in the pursuit of safety and justice for all. I beseech you now that he be ushered on to a new chapter of his existence in a plane of paradise," Aleksandr pauses for the briefest of moments as he realises he is about to confirm what the group must already suspect, "I ask this favour as Aleksandr Markov, eater of sins and servant to Your blessed cause." Bowing his head, Aleksandr lifts a handful of earth from the pile and tosses it onto the coffin.
"Rest well, old friend," he adds as the earth comes to a rest.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
There are tears evident on many faces in the crowd, but Kendra has not yet succumbed to that grief... or perhaps her grief is already all spent. She steps up and takes the candle from Grimburrow.
"You are all hear because my father touched your lives in some way or another. Many of you are old friends of mine," Here she glances at Iesha, Aleksander and smiles, "Many of you are strangers to me, but we are all family in our grief at this loss. My father is no doubt pleased that such valued friends come to bid him farewell, and so am I. Please, remember what he believed most fervently: knowledge is both sword and shield to those who use it. I... I thank you all."
She blows out the candle, and turns to kneel before Grimburrow. He spreads ash on his fingers and paints her eyelids with the black powder, as is Pharasman tradition. He then intones:
"The Lady of Graves bids the living now depart, and live their lives knowing her judgement waits for them all."
The crowd slowly disperses. One of them approaches Kendra and lowers his hood. He is an aging man, grown fat and comfortable in the years since his youth.
"Kendra, my dear. I will be by this evening for the reading of your father's will. If you need anything, please let me know."
Thank you, Councilman Hearthmount." she says, and he leaves.
Kendra stands and waits by the empty grave, watching the acolytes shovel earth on her father's coffin.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
And what now? We seem to have been cut loose, as it were. Peredur walks hesitantly over to Kendra. "Mistress Kendra? We've not met, though Petros spoke often of you when he visited Almas. My condolences on your loss. D' you wish an escort back home?"
"Almas. Ah, you must be Peredur. It is a pleasure sir. If you would be so kind, it would be most welcome."
She moves to Iesha and Aleksander, Alzano and Taantyth, and asks each in turn:
"Please, join me at my home. There will be food and drink for you there. And the business of my father's will will be handled, if you wish to be there for that I won't object."
At that, she turns and leaves the Restlands.
If you have any other business in the Restlands, now is the time, otherwise we will away to the Professor's Residence, with a short tour on the way.
Taanyth was not one to blindly trust his instincts, but after the encounter with the thugs, he believes something might not be right. It could have been paranoia; he was not one to trust so easily; but then again it could have been his senses as an elf. As he follows the rest to the Lorrimor residence, Taanyth looks around, peering near and far, too see or hear anything that might throw him off.
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Following Kendra, Aleksandr is introspective. Clearly the locals suspect that Petros was up to something although that could have simply been small mindedness. Aleksandr knew that Petros had taken on great burdens before, due to his nature.
"Pardon me, Kendra, but what was your father working on before he died? It appears to have riled the locals and I think that we need to put their minds at ease, if only for your own ease of mind," Aleksandr speaks softly, not wishing the conversation to carry.
As they walk, Aleksandr attempts to gauge the mood of the village.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
"We can discuss that at home, out of the rain and chill, Aleks," she says, before leading you all out of the Restlands.
After exiting the graveyard, you are given a quick tour of the town of Ravengro. Ahead is what is clearly the Temple of Pharasma, the tallest building in town sits across a small river from the cluster of shops and houses that must be the town center.
Diverging left over a bridge, and down in to the town proper, Kendra observes the following to you:
on the left side of the road over the bridge is a squat, tidy house. The sign outside says in simple script: The Unfurling Scroll, Kendra tells you it is the local school and arcanery, run by a Alendru Ghoroven.
Then, in the town center itself, surrounding a wooden gazebo, she points out:
The Ravengro Jail, a solid building. On the porch is the young Sheriff, who greets Kendra. She introduces him as Sheriff Benjen Caeller, and he eyes you with open suspicion.
The Ravengro General store, The Outward Inn, The town hall, The Silk Purse (the local bank, it would seem), The Ravengro Forge (you can hear the rhythmic workings of the blacksmith's hammer upon the anvil), and Jominda's Apothecary, (the local Alchemist) follow clockwise around the gazebo.
Two of the cloaked figures from the funeral you can see heading down a path from the center toward the riverbank.
"Zokar and his son," Kendra observes, "A dear friend of the professor and patron of the Laughing Demon Tavern."
Then through the town center south, to the home Kendra had, until recently, shared with her father.
IF there is a word to describe the house, it is this: Books. Every room and every spare bit of wall space is fixed with shelves and stuffed with tomes of knowledge.
Kendra sits gracefully on a comfortable looking, well-worn couch near the fireplace and sighs heavily. An aging woman emerges from the kitchen bearing a pot of tea and several glasses.
"Please sit, join me, and warm yourselves. Tea?" Kendra offers, politely. "Councilman Hearthmount should be here shortly... but in the meantime, please, introduce yourselves to each other."
talk amongst yourselves, make introductions, then on to the reading of the will
Content with Kendra's answer, Aleksandr takes in the tour. He mentally notes that he should check in with the Temple to let them know he had returned; it had been at least five years since he had been in Ravengro. Aleksandr brushed off the suspicion of the sheriff, he'd had wless before.
"Yes, please," he replies to Kendra's offer of tea. It would do well to shake the chill from his bones. While he waits, he introduces himself again for those who missed it at the Restlands.
"I am Aleksandr Markov, one of Pharasma's faithful and one of the few remaining sin eaters," he sips his tea, awaiting any reaction to his vocation.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Peredur gratefully accepts a cup of tea and sips it as he looks around at his chance-met companions. The ends of his pale hair still drip occasionally, but he took great care to clean the mud from his boots and keep his wet cloak and hat as far from the books as possible. "It fails to surprise, it does, that th' house of Petros would be a place such as this. Always, he seemed most relaxed when at least a hand of open books were in easy reach.
"You've heard my name, I trust. I'm out of Almas in Andoran, where I serve at Pharasma's temple as a--well, 'twould not be an error to say that my sword and skills as a hunter are theirs. Th' Professor was kind enough to teach me something of theology, for which I'll ever be in his debt." He smiles a bit sadly, looking off into space. "'Tis a fine jest on th' novices, when they see this rough swordsman and think to show off what they've newly learned, look you, for thanks to Petros I can discourse on doctrine as well as any of them. I'd looked forward to telling him of th' last one to try...." His voice trails off as his smile fades.
Taanyth looks at Kendra nods in approval. He takes a cup of tea and places his hand over it.
Gozreh, bless this tea...
He then sips it as Aleksander introduces himself. His eyes grow at the mention of 'sin eater,' and he is definitely interested whether this man in front of him is part of the more 'extremist' groups that partake of cannibalism, however Taanyth stays reformed and does not pry into the man's life.
He then continues to sip his tea while observing everyone.
Alzano only nods at Kendra's request and follows her through the town, cloak drawn tightly around himself to preserve what little body heat still remained. Upon entering the Lorrimors' residence, he takes a seat near the fireplace, pulling back his cloak's hood for the first time. His dusky, olive-colored skin and dark hair marks him as a Varisian. The fire reflected in his deep violet eyes contrasts sharply with his rough, unshaven face and bent nose. He's definitely seen better days.
"Tea? Sure." He cradles the cup with his hands to warm them as he listens to Aleksandr, making no reaction to his profession. Not sure how you can eat a sin... must be crazy religious-speak. He sips his tea as one of the half-elves and the elf introduce themselves.
Alzano speaks up after the others finish. "I'm Alzano... came here from Karcau. The old man helped me out awhile back... been waiting to repay him, but... well, you know..." He stares into his cup as he trails off.
"I am Iesha, priestess of Shelyn and apparently an orphan. I was left with the Shelyn temple in Ardis, seemingly not long after my birth. All I know of my heritage is that one parent was probably Varisian, as I was swaddled in this scarf. The other half...well..."
She indicates the scarf tying back her hair, gestures at her ears, and continues.
"Whoever left me there also left a sealed note for Professor Lorrimor. The temple sent for him and after he read the note he informed them that my name was Iesha and I'd been left here because that my birthmark was taken as a sign."
She gestures to her shoulder.
"The professor often came by to visit and to speak with me, and was very helpful in teaching me to deal with people's reactions to my -apparent- heritage. He was there when I was ordained. That was when my mentor in the temple, Marus Lindrosca, gave me the sobriet 'Shadowstar' and -if you don't object, Kendra- I have chosen to take a form of your father's first name to honor his memory."
She pauses again,smiling ruefully. "Though I would be dishonest with myself if I wasn't hoping he's left me some information about my past, whatever details might have been in that letter. And now I'm rambling. Thank you for the tea, Kendra, it was delicious"
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Ninja'd by Aleksandr....
Knowledge (Religion) check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Peredur starts slightly when Aleksandr identifies himself, and turns to face him more fully. So I didn't mishear at the Restlands...I'd heard of his sort in Ustalav, but I didn't expect to meet any. I'll have to make some time to speak with him later.